Coach Headslap

Packed up. Moved out.  Moved in. Unpacked. 
Moving is a liberating experience. Once it's over. During the move, it's hellish. Before the move, it's unbearable. The setting up. The planning. But after the move. It's heaven. 

How many things in your life can this be said for? Dreading the during, relieved when done.

I remember hating every single second of varsity football practice my senior year in high school.  I get asked a lot nowadays if I played football. I tell them kinda, but I mainly drew. This confounds them. Then I tell them I was pretty small when I was younger. Late bloomer. I went from 5'7" freshman year to 6'4" sophomore year. So at end of junior year, I wanted to play some good ol' fashion Texas football. 

At any rate, I would put my helmet on as I jogged out to the practice field and just wish there was a remote control for fast forwarding life. What the hell did I get myself into, I'd think. 

It was 105 degrees out in August. Here's an idea-everyone put MORE clothes on, pads, helmets, and run around for 3 hours at full speed. Oh, and don't just stop running. No, no. The way you stop running is by colliding with another person. Over and over. In the direct sun.  In summer. In Texas.  That's a reasonable idea.
Let's sign up for that. On paper, it's quite possibly the dumbest 'sport' next to rugbee or luge.

Who hasn't wanted to just get something 'over with'. 
'Just get it over with', we say.

But for some silly reason, after that event has taken it's toll, transpired, sometimes we look back at it fondly. Huh? How? I hated football practice.  Hated.

Coaches yelling. Slapping your helmeted head with their pee wee league championship ring encrusted hands. Hard, too. I'd feel that hand slap to the head all the way down in my little juicekings. It was that monumental of a whack.

'Harder! Good job, son!' 
I'd actually dodge the Coach if I saw that hand raising in my direction. 
Say I just made a lucky tackle, I'd head for the sidelines, happy, and then the Coach immediately approaches, and I'd dive under the bleachers. 

Luckily, I only got that slap a few times, as I didn't do much on the football field worthy of a congratulatory helmet whacking.
I got the hand in the face mask move a lot, though. 

Coach: 'Harder! I said B gap, not D gap!'
Me: 'B or D?'
Coach: 'Shit yea, Harder! B!'
Me: 'You've got a lot of chaw in your mouth, I can't understand you.'
Coach: 'Ya understand this?'

SMACK. Then a facemask grab and a shake. 
Then another SMACK. 

I realize now that I was getting my ass kicked by a little man upset with how his life was turning out. 

Nowadays, I'd grab that coach by the whistle, twist it around his dumb fat neck, and head butt his face like a tetherball till he shat himself or his head exploded, whichever came first. 

So, all you coaches out there: You've got a responsibility. You will leave a lasting mark on the kids you coach. Please don't take that lightly. 
Have fun. Be the cool coach. Be the fun coach. Be the coach we all talk about years later for
being the best coach we've ever had. 
Don't be the slappy coach. Or the handsy coach.

And for God's sake, take the
chaw out, or else we'll be hitting the D gap and not the B gap all game. 

Oh, and I guess I was getting at the fact that if I could do it over again, I'd still play football senior year. 
Man, if circa 1998 Justin could read this, he'd smack me in the head for saying such a thing.

Or on the butt.
That's completely straight if done on the football field. 
50 yards up the bleachers it's a different story.